Have you ever driven through the Historic Northeast neighborhood in Kansas City, Mo., and seen a building with playing cards instead of windows?
That's the house of cards, an abandoned apartment building at 7th and Indiana streets, that community members used to create public art. After a couple of years of dormancy, there's now some renewed interest to continue the effort.
Here's the story of how that project began:
A couple years back, the Historic Northeast neighborhood in Kansas City, Mo., had a problem.
A rusted metal "No Trespassing" sign hangs on a post outside the boarded-up Thacher School in the Historic Northeast in Kansas City, Mo.
On the other side of the tall fence, the grass is neatly trimmed and the empty parking lot is litter-free. The brick exterior, once a popular canvas for graffiti artists, has been scrubbed mostly clean. A single blue doodle is the only evidence of vandalism neighbors say was once common at the vacant school.
Cliff Drive in Kansas City, Mo., hugs the limestone bluffs that separate the stately turn-of-the-century mansions in the Historic Northeast neighborhood from the industry and train tracks of the Missouri River bottoms.
The road was purchased from the estate of Reverend Nathan Scarritt around 1900.
As part of KCUR's Beyond Our Borders series, Central Standard met with a handful of residents of Kansas City's historic Northeast to hear about the people and projects shaping the future of that part of town. In particular, artist Hector Casanova told us about his project working with students to transform a boarded-up old school building in the neighborhood by treating its surfaces as a giant canvas.
Sources affiliated with Saint Paul School of Theology say the school has negotiated a contract to sell its Truman Road campus to a prominent local social service agency. The seminary is negotiating with the Guadalupe Center’s Inc. to move into their old building.
The future of the Truman Road campus had become controversial after the leader of a Washington D.C. coalition of social service agencies known as KC CASE filed for zoning changes in order to move into the seminary.
When St. Paul’s School of Theology moved to Johnson County, Kansas last year, it left a beautiful, 19-acre campus in Northeast Kansas City, Mo. vacant. Now, the campus could become home to recovering prostitutes, drug and alcohol addicts, and at-risk boys.
The city would have to rezone the area, and some neighbors aren’t happy. They believe a proposal to put a group of social service agencies on the campus will damage the neighborhood’s image and possibly jeopardize their safety.